Residential Permitting Requirements

Residential construction and additions

Permits are required for most construction. During the permitting process, you are required to submit your permits, plans and documents, pay fees and schedule inspections. This guide provides you with the required information for common projects. Click here for an overview of the permitting process. Use the navigation above to select a specific project type to understand what permits, documents and inspections might be required.

Required Permits

  • Required Permit: Building Permit
  • Trade permits are also required to cover any electrical, plumbing, gas or other work you might be doing.

Notice of Commencement

  • If you are doing work as the homeowner and not hiring a contractor, the State of Florida requires you to submit an Owner/Builder Declaration form with the building permit application. You must sign this form must in person, at the permitting office. You must provide the city with a copy of the recorded Notice of Commencement if any of the following are true:
    • The construction value for a building permit is more than $2,500.
    • The construction value of an electrical, fire, mechanical or plumbing/gas permit is greater than $7,500 and it is not related to a building permit that already has a Notice of Commencement on file and the electrical permit is not for temporary service/pole only

Required Plans & Documents

All plans must:

  • Be dimensioned and drawn to scale.
  • Include a third-party verified signature of a Florida registered architect/engineer, along with any other supporting documents.

The following plans and documents must be uploaded for review and approval. Click here to learn how to upload your plans.

  • Complete legal description
  • Construction Plans
  • Site Plan or Survey
    • Property lines with lot dimensions
    • Adjacent streets locations and names
    • Easements
    • North arrow
    • Total building site area (in square feet)
    • Dimensions of any existing or proposed buildings
    • Lot area
    • Impervious surface area calculations
    • Dimensions and locations of
      • Air conditioner/mechanical equipment pads
      • Pool equipment
      • Porches, patios and steps
      • Driveway and driveway approach
      • Curb, street pavement edge, public sidewalk and on-site walkways
      • Structure projections and roof overhangs
    • Locations of existing tree
    • Distances from property lines to existing and proposed improvements
    • Distances between existing and proposed improvements.
    • Distinguish between existing conditions and proposed work.
  • Erosion control device details
  • Energy Calculations - A mechanical contractor or project architect must sign the owner/agent certification.
  • Fire Sprinkler Plans for Baldwin Park and for some parts of the southeast generally located east of the Orlando International Airport
  • Property Owner/Developer Approval (Baldwin Park) - Written authorization to apply for permits from the Property Owner/Developer or authorization from the Town Architect for Baldwin Park properties.
  • Assignment Letter - Letter from the Property Owner/Developer assigning impact fee and sewer capacity credits.
  • All infield lots require signed and sealed civil plans by a licensed engineer

Revisions

  • You can only submit revisions after all plans examiners have completed their review of the previous submission.
  • Submit only the sheets that are being revised
  • The revision request form must be submitted with every revision
  • Narrative – Identifying the purpose of revision and what is being revised
  • Provide Case number and address of the project
  • Identify clearly all revisions on the drawings (i.e. draw clouds around revised areas of plans)
  • Comments – attach written response to all comments, include a narrative that lists and explains all revisions.

Contractor Requirements

The contractor must file these items before receiving a permit

  • State of Florida Contractor’s License
  • Contractor’s Business Tax Receipt
  • Proof of Worker’s Compensation Insurance
  • Surety Bond (Registered Contractors only)
  • Competency Card (Registered Contractors only)
  • Special Power of Attorney (if applicable)

Most Common Reasons for Disapproval

  • Site plan/survey not included
  • Site plan/survey not dimensioned
  • Building permit application not signed or notarized
  • Location of AC unit not shown on site plan/survey
  • Plans are not signed and sealed
  • Contractor’s information not current in system
  • Application missing complete owner information
  • At revision status (disapproval is common as a result of lack of Narrative submittal and delineation of changes.)

Driveways and Pavers

Required Permit

  • Engineering Permit Application
  • Certificate of Appropriateness (Historic Districts only)
  • Notice of Commencement/Owner Builder Declaration

    If you are doing work as the homeowner and not hiring a contractor, the State of Florida requires you to submit an Owner/Builder Declaration form with the engineering permit application. You must sign this form must in person, at the Permitting Services office.

    If the job is more than $2,500, you must provide the city with a copy of the recorded Notice of Commencement. Click here to file a Notice of Commencement.

    Required Plans & Documents

    The following plans and documents must be uploaded for review and approval. Click here to learn how to upload your plans.

    Site Plan/Survey/Plot Plan:

    A survey is a drawing of your property which includes property lines, easements, signed and sealed by a surveyor. This is typically provided with your deed and or homeowner sale documents. If you are unable to locate your survey you can submit a records request to see if we have it. Please contact a surveyor if we do not have a copy on file or the plan is outdated. 

  • Show where the work is going on the plans and include dimensions ( L X W )
  • Show the distance with dimensions between the property line and where the work is starting
  • Driveway width requirements reference Municipal Code 61.302(d)
  • Semi-circular driveway requirements reference Municipal Code 61.302(e)
  • The following driveway materials are prohibited Municipal Code 61.302(i)
  •  Show your lot and front yard Impervious Surface Ratio (ISR) calculations. Impervious surfaces are areas through which water cannot seep into the ground, such as concrete, pavers and buildings:
    • Impervious Area in sq. ft. / Entire Lot Area in sq. ft. = ISR
      Example: 4,000 sq. ft. impervious / 10,000 sq. ft. lot = 0.4 or 40% ISR
      *Gravel, rock gardens, and artificial turf are considered impervious 
      No more than 40% front yard ISR is allowed Municipal Code 61.302(b) 
      No more than 55% entire lot ISR is allowed within the following zoning areas:
      R-1AA R-1   R-1A    R-1N    R-2A
      No more than 60% in R-2B and R-3A zoning
      For PD zoning, email cityplanning@orlando.gov
  • The following statement must be included in our plans: The City of Orlando's Guidelines for Erosion Sediment Control will serve as a guide for the implementation of erosion sediment control measures. This document must also be uploaded as part of the submittal package.

    Requirements for the residential driveway apron (area between the street and sidewalk)

  • Show where the work is being placed and include dimensions
  • Driveway apron must be the same width as the driveway
  • Work done on the apron requires you to submit the following documents:

    MOT notes and Driveway Detail sheet (sheet number 2, page number 3)

  • Pavers placed on an apron must include a notarized paver agreement document.
  • *For projects that involve an increase of impervious area or alteration of existing elevations/surface drainage patterns, a grading plan and stormwater calculation prepared by professional engineer (P.E.) and topographic survey prepared by professional surveyor will be required to comply with Chapter 7 of the City Engineering Standards Manual.*

    *Depending on your zoning district, a Certificate of Appropriateness from Historical Preservation may be required.

    Artificial Turf

    Required Permit

    Artificial grass requires an engineering permit as it is considered to be impervious surface. Each property is limited to the amount of impervious surface. Please allow 2 business days to process the permit application after you have submitted.

    Check Your Eligibility

    Ensure you meet the requirements and do not go over the amount of impervious surface in your property by calculating your ISR (impervious surface ration.) To do this you will need to calculate:

    • Impervious Area in sq. ft. / Entire Lot Area in sq. ft. = ISR
    • Example: 4,000 sq. ft. impervious / 10,000 sq. ft. lot = 0.4 or 40% ISR
      • Artificial turf, concrete, pavers, bricks, etc. are considered impervious.
      • If you have a pool, the city does not count the surface of the pool water toward the calculation.
    • No more than 40% front yard ISR is allowed Municipal Code 61.302(b)
    • No more than 55% entire lot ISR is allowed within the following zoning areas:
      • R-1AA R-1   R-1A    R-1N    R-2A
      • No more than 60% in R-2B and R-3A zoning
    • For PD zoning, email cityplanning@orlando.gov
    • Artificial turf is not allowed within 50 feet of a water body, such as a retention pond or natural lake.

    Notice of Commencement/Owner Builder Declaration

    If you are doing work as the homeowner and not hiring a contractor, the State of Florida requires you to submit an Owner/Builder Declaration form with the engineering permit application. You must sign this form must in person, at the Permitting Services office.

    If the job is more than $2,500, you must provide the city with a copy of the recorded Notice of Commencement. Click here to file a Notice of Commencement.

    Required Plans & Documents

    • Site plan/survey/plot plan: this is a drawing of your property which includes property lines, easements, signed and sealed by a surveyor which you should have received at time of sale for your property. If you are unable to locate your plan you can submit a records request to see if we have it. Please contact a surveyor if we do not have a copy on file or the plan is outdated.
    • Show where the artificial grass is being placed by shading/highlighting the area and include dimensions (L x W)
    • Distance between the property line and where the artificial grass starts (L x W)
    • Include the ISR calculation on your plans
    • Include the artificial turf product specifications
    • The following statement must be included in your plans: The City of Orlando's Guidelines for Erosion Sediment Control will serve as a guide for the implementation of erosion sediment control measures. This document must also be uploaded as part of the submittal package.

    After your application is processed, the digital applicant will receive an email with a link to access the digital plan review system, ProjectDox. Follow the upload requirements.

    Shed Permits

    Required Permits

    • Required Permit: Building Permit
    • Electrical and plumbing permits are required for all electrical and plumbing work including lights, outlets and sinks.

    Notice of Commencement & Owner/Builder Declaration

    • If you are installing the shed as the homeowner and not hiring a contractor, the State of Florida requires you to submit an Owner/Builder Declaration form with the building permit application. This form must be signed, in person, at the permitting office. 
    • If the shed is over $2,500, you must provide the city with a copy of the recorded Notice of Commencement. Click here to file a notice of commencement.

    Required Plans & Documents

    The following plans and documents must be uploaded for review and approval. Click here to learn how to upload your plans.

    Civil Plans

    Site plan showing the following:

    • Location of the shed on the property. Setback from the shed to the rear and side property lines.
    • Height and size of the shed.

    Additional plans to be submitted include:

    • Shed manufacturer’s drawings/specifications.
    • If the shed does not meet the City of Orlando wind speeds (130 mph typically), anchors or straps will be required. The specification/installation instructions for the anchors/straps must be submitted. 

    If your shed is not pre-fabricated but instead a custom, field-built shed, your uploaded plans must be signed and sealed engineered drawings. 

    Inspections Needed

    Click here to schedule your inspections.

    Pre-fabricated shed:

    • Final Inspection

    Custom, field-built shed:

    • Slab or Footer Inspection
    • Ext. Strapping/Wall Sheathing Inspection
    • Framing Inspection
    • Final Inspection

    Development Standards

    Fence Permits

    Required Permits

    • Required Permit: Building Permit

    Notice of Commencement & Owner/Builder Declaration

    • If you are installing the fence as the homeowner and not hiring a contractor, the State of Florida requires you to submit an Owner/Builder Declaration form with the building permit application. This form must be signed, in person, at the permitting office. 
    • If the fence is over $2,500, you must provide the city with a copy of the recorded Notice of Commencement. Click here to file a notice of commencement.

    Required Plans & Documents

    The following plans and documents must be uploaded for review and approval. Click here to learn how to upload your plans.

    A site plan. Create your site plan by highlighting the area for the placement of the fence, marking the height and length, gates and setbacks on a copy of a survey of your property.

    Inspections Needed

    Click here to schedule your inspections.

    • Final Inspection